No one should have to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table or heating their homes. But for many people at risk of hunger, the cost of gas and electricity means they have little money left for decent food.
Fuel banks are a simple but innovative solution which protect people from destitution. Pioneered by npower, and developed through further partnerships between the Fuel Bank Foundation and Feeding Britain, they provide two weeks’ emergency fuel credit to people facing a desperate choice between heating and eating. The credit is available to people regardless of their energy supplier, meaning they can be given to any household in need.
Feeding Birkenhead piloted one of the first fuel banks in Wirral Food Bank. Since 2016 the Wirral fuel bank has helped more than 20,000 people. The Coventry Food Bank, part of Feeding Coventry, has also been running a fuel bank since 2017, and has helped more than 3,600 people.
Feeding Britain is now working with the Fuel Bank Foundation to set up fuel banks in more of our regional partnership areas, including Cornwall, Greenwich, Mansfield, South Shields, and West Yorkshire. By doing this, we are able to help people at risk of destitution, not only by providing food, but also by ensuring people have the fuel to cook it, and a warm home to eat it in.
The fuel bank in Cornwall, which after a very successful crowdfunding campaign opened in the winter of 2018, has been able to provide a crucial lifeline to local families, offering emergency fuel to more than 1,000 people in need alongside their food parcel. The fuel bank is based in the independent food banks run by Transformation CPR. To support the fuel bank, and ensure its running for years to come, please consider donating here.